Tips for Hiring for Cultural Fit in Your Customer Service Center

Lauren Krause
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If you operate a customer service center, you expect your employees to treat your customers well, to be empathetic and to answer the phone with smiles on their faces. One of the best ways to achieve all of this is to hire employees who are good cultural fits. This can be challenging to determine in an interview, but there are some tips you can follow to greatly increase your chance of success.

Tip 1: Keep the interview light and try to have a little fun. As an engaged owner or manager, you already know the types of things your employees find humorous. If the candidate gets the jokes and sincerely laughs at them, that gives you a good indication that she will have much in common with her potential co-workers. However, if she looks at you with a nervous stare or forces a fake chuckle, it might be hard for her to feel like a part of the team.

Tip 2: As a customer service professional, you have a certain flair for reading people. Use this to your advantage. If your gut feeling is that the candidate is not being honest or is extremely nervous despite your attempts to lighten the mood, she may not mesh well with your employees.

Tip 3: Allow the candidate to ask questions about the culture of your company. Many potential employees call the human resources department before the interview to inquire about this. Common questions cover topics such as dress code, workload and typical office celebrations. They should be just as interested in determining whether they will fit in with the culture as you are, if not more so. If a candidate didn't ask these questions prior to your interview, pay attention to whether she asks them during your interview.

Tip 4: You want your new employee have a certain degree of teachability and humility. If you sense an arrogant attitude or indifference to your thoughts, she may not work well with your employees no matter how much experience she has in the field. Try giving her a scenario that she is very unlikely to have encountered before and offer yourself as a resource to help resolve the issue. If and how she chooses to use your help can speak volumes about how manageable she is.

Tip 5: When you bring your best candidates back for a second interview, have one or more of your team leads or senior team members interview her. You need to get a feel for how candidates interact with the people they will work with every day. Sit down with the interviewers afterwards to get their take on how well they think the candidates match the existing company culture.

The bottom line is that you when your employees mesh well, your customers benefit greatly. Customer service is not all fun and games, but a happy and cohesive team leads to employees answering the phone in the right state of mind. This creates a culture that fosters repeated success no matter what your industry is.


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